My dad worked third shift in a factory for over 30 years to provide for his family of 8. He would walk to work every night. Sometimes he would ride his bike. We had one family car that he would NEVER take to work (even in a blizzard) in the off-chance that my mom might need it in the morning to take us kids to school. He was a fierce protector of the underdog. He befriended all (except those SOBs that broke glass in the park and left it for innocent kids to step in). He was an avid outdoorsman and an inspired athlete. He was the life of the party, the ultimate comedian in his impersonations and jokes. He was an immensely talented singer (a crooner), a dancer, and a performer. He cut the grass, he grilled out, he fixed the fence (time and again- "stop climbing on the damn fence!"), he built a play tower, he took us camping, he killed the centipedes, he built the shed, he took us on motorcycle rides, he taught me how to change a tire and how to throw a spiral. I can remember how careful his giant hands were when he would gently wash my hair with my head hovering in the kitchen sink. When we were babies he rocked us, when we were scared he held us, when we were tired he carried us up to our beds. I remember faking sleep a number of times in my childhood just so he would carry me to bed. Not only did he tell us he loved us but he showed us as well. He was at every play, every concert, every game. He thought my sarcasm was hilarious, he encouraged my spunk, he was proud of my independence. He told me I was beautiful and smart and even though I couldn't believe the words he said them with such conviction that I knew he believed and that meant everything to me. He taught me how to love God and how to put my trust in Him. My dad was far from perfect, he had flaws, he was human, he made mistakes. But my dad will always be my hero. I miss him more than I can say.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy.
I love you!